2000 - Singapore



Updated on: 19 May 2022



Medium: Installation with four coffee tables
Dimensions: 2.06M x 0.51M, 2.17 x 1.19M, 2.23 x 0.5M, 2.09 x 0.57M


These are 4 projects of renovations to existing terrace houses for new owners. They reflect an ongoing trend of social mobility among certain groups in Singapore which is related to notions of individualism and practices of consumption. A highly mediatised link, this relationship between lifestyles and the living environment is one of continuous renewal and reinvention. In such a situation, ideas of the domicile and domestic and also renewed. The home as a place to nest, to leave traces of inhabitation, takes on a different context and meaning.

In our thinking and practices as architects with respect to this phenomenon, we looked for clues and devised design strategies from the actual processes of renewing these houses. Our interest was not in conceiving ideal models but rather to appropriate from the concrete possibilities offered by particular situations. This engagement with the potentiality of various notions of living and also with the many parties involved at different stages of the process were seen as creative and productive opportunities.


The bias towards the operations, the present-tational, as compared to re-presentational qualities of the different processes formed the method of working. An example would be seeing the drawn architectural plan not solely as a scaled representation of the house, but as a process of researching different possibilities from certain perspectives allowed when working on a plan. This recognition of the scene or context for working in is continued in the exhibition; the Coffee Table Plans project is an attempt to engage with the various aspects of displaying and reception of these 4 projects.

Again, immediacy and presentational qualities are sought. Different media, scales and the materiality of text, images, drawings and plywood table suggest different layers and processes. Linking all this fabrication is a process of correlation, specific to each project, connecting the text to the image to the presentational format and so on. Similarly, our interest in engaging with the viewer in the premise of the Marine Parade Community Library leads us to the idea of appropriating the new lifestyle section where coffee is served. Just as we discuss and make plans over coffee at the table, it may be appropriate to set up the architectural plans an stories on the coffee tables for this exhibition.


Tan Kok Meng
Ling Hao
Curatorial Team
Lucy Davis
Lee Weng Choy
Susie Lingham
Daniel Wong
Alvin Tan
Chong Tze Chien
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Project Serial Number: 200015e